The story of the blitz on Britain and how the Nazi bombers were guided to their targets by electronic beams. Then how this was defeated in The Battle of the Beams by Dr R V Jones and the team from British Air Intelligence.

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The story of the blitz on Britain and how the Nazi bombers were guided to their targets by electronic beams. Then how this was defeated in The Battle of the Beams by Dr R V Jones and the team from British Air Intelligence.

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Documentary | War

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3 January 2004 (UK)  »

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Boffins
29 March 2015 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Early in the war, the English city of Coventry was bombed at night by the Germans and ruined, with five hundred dead. The question the Brits were faced with was, "How could they find their way at night to a remote destination?" Next: "How can we stop whatever is guiding them?" The result was a series of measures and countermeasures between Britain and Germany to dominate electronic navigation aids. Until the advent of radar-bearing nightfighers later in the war, there was no way of stopping the bombers except to mess up their means of navigation.

The main talking head is R. V. Jones, perhaps the man chiefly responsible for developing the most effective defense against the bombers. He's still rueful about having missed the Coventry raid. I can understand that. What I can't understand is why he wears two wristwatches. Maybe one is a compass.

This is a complicated story. Hundreds of lives can turn on an error that the British typists made in using "metres" instead of "miles", or using a radio frequency of 1500 cycles per second instead of 2000. The documentary does an exemplary job of making all of this viewer friendly,.

I wonder if someday someone may write a book about a war that completely disregards combat of any kind and concentrates entirely on the technology of each side and the brains behind that technology.


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